When she ‘liked’ offensive comments

Oh no, another huge bruiser of a man victimized by a woman who Liked comments on Facebook. That will be ten thousand dollars madam, pay the cashier.

A dispute over a post on Canberra radio newsreader Beth Rep’s Facebook page was meant to end with an apology to transgender activist Bridget Clinch.

Instead, the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal yesterday found Ms Rep breached discrimination laws when she ‘liked’ offensive comments on the post, and ordered she pay Ms Clinch $10,000 in compensation.

Ms Clinch — an Australian Army captain who medically transitioned from life as a male to female in 2010 — first came into contact with Ms Rep after the newsreader made online comments about her after International Women’s Day in March 2018.

Here is the former Army captain:

Transgender activist in a protest t-shirt.
Facebook

After Ms Clinch complained to the ACT Human Rights Commission about the comments, Ms Rep posted about it on social media, and was subsequently banned from Twitter.

Mediation led to Ms Rep posting an apology on her Facebook page in mid-2018 and paying Ms Clinch $700, but the post attracted 304 comments, many of which were offensive, and some of which were ‘liked’ by Ms Rep.

So the dainty fragile vulnerable ex-captain sued Beth Rep.

Ms Rep, who works for local radio station 2CC, wrote the posts and liked the comments on her personal Facebook page.

The tribunal heard Ms Rep, who works for 2CC, had described herself as a radical feminist who believed in resisting what she called aggressive trans activism.

She told the tribunal that while she was supportive of gender non-conformity, she was concerned about the impact of trans activism on women’s spaces, services and opportunities.

Also, whether the tribunal grasped this or not, gender non-conformity is the opposite of trans, not a synonym for it.

Ms Rep said the online exchange in March 2018 had become heated after a number of provocative and anti-feminist comments were posted.

She argued she did not invite the comments nor coordinate them, and was not an active participant, other than hitting the ‘like’ button.

The comments ranged from “Bridget Clinch is a male bully” to “I hate Bridget and I don’t even know who he is” and the use of the hashtag #istandwithbeth.

It’s possible that I left one or more critical comment. I’m Facebook friends with Beth (or was, she seems to have left it now, understandably) and have commented on her posts and even Liked them.

In addition to paying compensation, the tribunal told Ms Rep to delete “all posts, statements, information, suggestions or implications” on the matter and refrain from the same or similar posts in future.

No wonder I can’t find her on Facebook now.

The bully won. They usually do.

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